Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

IMG_3216

When I was in high school and part of college, I worked at Panera Bread. After working there for three years, you’d think I would have become incredibly sick of their food, but instead it was just the opposite. I would take advantage of my discounted meal at my half an hour lunch/dinner break most shifts, and I almost always brought home some type of goodie for myself or my family. Needless to say, I probably gained at least 5 pounds while I was working there.

One of my favorite soups to get on my breaks at Panera was Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup. Chicken noodle soup is comforting to most, but I’ve always preferred rice and I’ve always been a sucker for creamy soups and dishes. Two years ago, when I had been living in my first apartment for just a few months, I made this Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup I found on the blog Budget Bytes. The soup was so delicious and instantly reminded me of the one I enjoyed at Panera Bread on so many of many occasions.

This soup is one of my very favorite recipes and is so satisfying every time I make it. It’s creamy, soothing, and filled with tender chicken, wild rice, and vegetables. It’s a perfect soup to make for your family, or to cheer up a sick friend. The combination of the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves creates a wonderful aroma that will make your home smell amazing.

To make this soup slightly lighter, I subbed the whole milk for evaporated milk and it was still incredibly creamy and flavorful. If you wish to eliminate the dairy all together, this soup is delicious just with a broth base, too! You can actually use any type of grain you like, as long as you make sure to follow the cooking instructions so as to not overcook it. I used a combination of wild & long grain rice and Bob’s Red Mill “Vegi Soup Mix”, which includes split peas and lentils in addition to grains.

Winter is coming to an end in New England, and what better way to celebrate than with this lovely soup? 🙂

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
adapted from Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup on Budget Bytes

IMG_3205

Ingredients:
serves 5-6

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. chicken (about 2 medium-sized breasts)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs rosemary + 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup wild rice or your favorite grain mixture
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • salt, to taste

IMG_3178

Directions:

  1. In a 3-4 quart cooking pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onions and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring, until slightly softened. Add your celery and garlic and continue to cook over medium-low heat.
  2. Once veggies are tender, add your chicken breasts, chicken stock, water, herbs, and rice to the pot. Stir to combine and bring soup to a boil, then return to a simmer.
  3. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until rice is finished and chicken is cooked throughout. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then transfer back into the pot and turn off the heat.
  4. In a separate smaller sauce pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until a thick paste is formed. Stir in evaporated milk and bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk. Once mixture is thickened, remove from heat.
  5. Pour milk mixture into soup and season with salt to taste. Fish out herbs before serving, and enjoy with a piece of nice, crusty bread 🙂
IMG_3183
Saute up your veggies until nice and tender.
March Food3
Add your chicken, herbs, chicken stock, water, and wild rice and cook for about 30 minutes or until rice is finished and chicken is cooked throughout.
IMG_3190
Remove your chicken from the pot, shred it using two forks, and return it to the pot.
March Food2
In a small sauce pan, prepare your roux. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and whisk in 2 Tbsp of flour. Stir in your 12 oz. can of evaporated milk and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once mixture has thickened, remove from heat and stir into soup. Season with salt to taste.

IMG_3203

IMG_3227
🙂

Advertisements

10 Comments Add yours

  1. I love making soups, but have never worked up the nerve to try to make something creamy…I will have to give this a shot!

    1. hp11260 says:

      I like this one because it’s not too heavy but still has a really nice flavor. Enjoy! 🙂

  2. Cindy says:

    This soup looks sooo good! I just decided this is what’s for dinner today 😀 Thanks!

    1. hp11260 says:

      Yay! I hope you like it 🙂

  3. Jess B says:

    I’m making this for dinner but converting it to paleo. Thanks for the good meal!

  4. Cyndi Black says:

    I can tell by the ingredients this is going to be good….

    1. It is quite tasty, hard to go wrong with creamy chicken dishes 🙂

  5. Brittany says:

    Wondering how this would do in the crockpot? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Brittany, I have another chicken soup recipe that’s made in the crock pot that’s similar to this one if you’d like to take a peek:
      https://hungryhannahs.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/chicken-sausage-white-bean-stew/

      I think you may be able to follow the crock pot directions for that recipe, but substitute the appropriate ingredients for the wild rice soup and come out with a similar product. Let me know if you try it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s